AskDefine | Define zoological

The Collaborative Dictionary

Zoological \Zo`o*log"ic*al\, a. [Cf. F. zoologique.] Of or pertaining to Zoology, or the science of animals. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

zoological adj
1 concerning the study of animals and their classification and properties; "zoological research"
2 of or relating to animals or animal groups; "zoological garden"



  1. of, or relating to animals
  2. of, or relating to zoology


of, or relating to animals
  • Finnish: eläintieteellinen
  • German: zoologisch
  • Hungarian: állati, állat-
of, or relating to zoology
  • Finnish: eläintieteellinen
  • German: zoologisch
  • Hungarian: állattani, zoológiai
Zoology (from Greek ζῴον, zoon, "animal" + λόγος, "logos", "knowledge") is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals.


The pronunciation of "zoology" is /zoʊˈɑləʤɪ/; however, an alternative pronunciation is /zuˈɑləʤɪ/. Traditionally (and more properly), the word was pronounced with the first syllable rhyming with "toe", followed by "-ology". Recently, it has become more common to pronounce the first syllable as "zoo". The word zoology originates from the Greek zoion, meaning animal, and logos, meaning study.

Subfields of zoology

The study of animal life is, of course, ancient: but as 'zoology' it is relatively modern, for what we call biology was known as 'natural history' at the start of the nineteenth century. During the lifetime of Charles Darwin, natural history turned from a gentlemanly pursuit to a modern scientific activity. Zoology as we know it was first established in German and British universities. The institution of zoology training in British universities was mainly established by Thomas Henry Huxley. His ideas were centered on the morphology of animals: he was himself the greatest comparative anatomist of the second half of the nineteenth century. His courses were composed of lectures and laboratory practical classes; and his system became widely spread.
There was much left out by Huxley, especially the study of animals in their environment, which had been the main stimulus for both Darwin and Alfred Wallace (who both came up with the idea of natural selection). The fact that neither Darwin nor Wallace ever held a university teaching post may have contributed to this rather startling omission. Gradually Huxley's comparative anatomy was supplemented by other much-needed methods. The field of zoology in the twentieth century mainly comprised these approaches:
  1. Comparative anatomy studies the structure of animals.
  2. The physiology of animals is studied under various fields including anatomy and embryology
  3. The common genetic and developmental mechanisms of animals and plants is studied in molecular biology, molecular genetics and developmental biology
  4. Ethology is the study of animal behavior.
  5. The ecology of animals is covered under behavioral ecology and other fields
  6. Evolutionary biology of both animals and plants is considered in the articles on evolution, population genetics, heredity, variation, Mendelism, reproduction.
  7. Systematics, cladistics, phylogenetics, phylogeography, biogeography and taxonomy classify and group species via common descent and regional associations.
  8. The various taxonomically-oriented disciplines such as mammalogy, herpetology, ornithology identify and classify species, and study the structures and mechanisms specific to those groups. Entomology is the study of insects, by far the largest group of animals.
  9. Palaeontology, including all that may be learnt of ancient environments.

Systems of classification

Morphography includes the systematic exploration and tabulation of the facts involved in the recognition of all the recent and extinct kinds of animals and their distribution in space and time. (1) The museum-makers of old days and their modern representatives the curators and describers of zoological collections, (2) early explorers and modern naturalist travelers and writers on zoo-geography, and (3) collectors of fossils and palaeontologists are the chief varieties of zoological workers coming under this heading. Gradually, since the time of Hunter and Cuvier, anatomical study has associated itself with the more superficial morphography until today no one considers a study of animal form of any value which does not include internal structure, histology and embryology in its scope.
The real dawn of zoology after the legendary period of the Middle Ages is connected with the name of an Englishman, Edward Edward Wotton, born at Oxford in 1492, who practised as a physician in London and died in 1555. He published a treatise De differentiis animalium at Paris in 1552. In many respects Wotton was simply an exponent of Aristotle, whose teaching, - with various fanciful additions, constituted the real basis of zoological knowledge throughout the Middle Ages. It was Wotton's merit that he rejected the legendary and fantastic accretions, and returned to Aristotle and the observation of nature.
The most ready means of noting the progress of zoology during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries is to compare Aristotle's classificatory conceptions of successive.

Notable zoologists

In alphabetical order by surname:

See also


zoological in Afrikaans: Dierkunde
zoological in Arabic: علم الحيوان
zoological in Aragonese: Zoolochía
zoological in Franco-Provençal: Zoologia
zoological in Bengali: প্রাণিবিজ্ঞান
zoological in Bosnian: Zoologija
zoological in Breton: Loenoniezh
zoological in Bulgarian: Зоология
zoological in Catalan: Zoologia
zoological in Czech: Zoologie
zoological in Welsh: Sŵoleg
zoological in Danish: Zoologi
zoological in German: Zoologie
zoological in Estonian: Zooloogia
zoological in Modern Greek (1453-): Ζωολογία
zoological in Spanish: Zoología
zoological in Esperanto: Zoologio
zoological in Basque: Zoologia
zoological in Persian: جانورشناسی
zoological in French: Zoologie
zoological in Western Frisian: Soölogy
zoological in Friulian: Zoologjie
zoological in Irish: Zó-eolaíocht
zoological in Galician: Zooloxía
zoological in Korean: 동물학
zoological in Hindi: प्राणी विज्ञान
zoological in Upper Sorbian: Zoologija
zoological in Croatian: Zoologija
zoological in Ido: Zoologio
zoological in Indonesian: Zoologi
zoological in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Zoologia
zoological in Interlingue: Zoologie
zoological in Ossetian: Зоологи
zoological in Icelandic: Dýrafræði
zoological in Italian: Zoologia
zoological in Hebrew: זואולוגיה
zoological in Javanese: Zoologi
zoological in Kannada: ಪ್ರಾಣಿಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ
zoological in Georgian: ზოოლოგია
zoological in Kurdish: Zoolojî
zoological in Ladino: Zoolojia
zoological in Latin: Zoologia
zoological in Latvian: Zooloģija
zoological in Luxembourgish: Zoologie
zoological in Lithuanian: Zoologija
zoological in Hungarian: Zoológia
zoological in Macedonian: Зоологија
zoological in Malay (macrolanguage): Zoologi
zoological in Dutch: Zoölogie
zoological in Japanese: 動物学
zoological in Norwegian: Zoologi
zoological in Norwegian Nynorsk: Zoologi
zoological in Narom: Zoologie
zoological in Occitan (post 1500): Zoologia
zoological in Low German: Zoologie
zoological in Polish: Zoologia
zoological in Portuguese: Zoologia
zoological in Romanian: Zoologie
zoological in Quechua: Suwuluhiya
zoological in Russian: Зоология
zoological in Scots: Zoology
zoological in Albanian: Zoologjia
zoological in Sicilian: Zuoluggìa
zoological in Simple English: Zoology
zoological in Slovak: Zoológia
zoological in Slovenian: Zoologija
zoological in Serbian: Зоологија
zoological in Serbo-Croatian: Zoologija
zoological in Finnish: Eläintiede
zoological in Swedish: Zoologi
zoological in Tamil: விலங்கியல்
zoological in Tetum: Zoolojia
zoological in Thai: สัตววิทยา
zoological in Vietnamese: Động vật học
zoological in Tajik: Зоология
zoological in Turkish: Zooloji
zoological in Ukrainian: Зоологія
zoological in Urdu: حیوانیات
zoological in Volapük: Nimav
zoological in Yiddish: זאאלאגיע
zoological in Contenese: 動物學
zoological in Chinese: 动物学
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